Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Koa's Kitchen--All natural dog treats!

This is Koa!  His mom & dad present organic, all-natural dog treats for you!

I am very excited to share this with you.  Members of my current Basic Manners Class have been making their own dog treats and are now ready to present them to you.  My class was lucky enough to receive free samples last week...they were all very excited.  Not only are these treats well liked by dogs, but by humans as well.  Two dogs in my class are currently on diet restrictions, as many dogs today now are.  The wonderful treats made by Koa's Kitchen are gluten, dairy, and soy free, and made with organic ingredients, so they're great for dog's with restricted diets!

Below is pictures from the samples I got, along with product information from Koa's Kitchen.

Koa's Kitchen
Or call the Bakers:
Jeremy:    808-446-2885
Meg:        541-295-1111

All of Koa's Kitchen's doggie delicacies are prepared with human grade ingredients.  Koa's Kitchen strives to cook/dehydrate with local organic products when possible.  If organic isn't available, Koa's Kitchen chooses all natural products.  Baking is done at 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill bad bacteria while preserving vitamins.

Retriever Retriever Pumpkin Eater
Ingredients:  Organic Pumpkin Puree, Organic Coconut Flour, Organic Eggs, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Flax Meal, & Filtered Water.

Two of the most common problems our furry friends run into is diarrhea and constipation.  Well here is an easy fix, pumpkin puree can help with both these problems.  It will absorb the excess water present in the stool, which can help with diarrhea.  A teaspoon a day will surely keep the vet away.  As for constipation, Pumpkin puree has a large quantity of dietary fiber, therefore it is a stool softener and can settle an upset stomach almost instantly.

Kauai Coconut Cookies
Ingredients:  Organic coconut flour, Maui Gold Pineapple, Organic Eggs, Organic Coconut, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Flax Meal, & Filtered Water.

One of the many wonderful tropical treats created especially for our Canine connoisseurs.  Our Kauai Coconut cookies will be great for all.  The Antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial qualities are great for illness and speeding up healing.  They are going to be great for digestive due to the Propain and Bromelain enzymes.  To top it off they are a great source of vitamins giving fuel and energy for athletic performance and weight loss.  These wonderful cookies active ingredient pineapple, which will help maintain and develop strong bones due to the the manganese, a trace mineral.  Eating these cookies will alleviate the pain of arthritis from there anti-inflammatory qualities.

Chicken Jerky
Ingredients:  Dehydrated All Natural Chicken Breast.

This tail wagging goodness will surely suit your best friend's needs.  Not only do they taste great, they are loaded with proteins and Amino Acids.  Chicken also contains Vitamins A, D, & E, promoting a healthy coat and helping build strong bones, while Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant!

Big Island Biscuits
Ingredients:  Purple Sweet Potatoes, Organic Coconut Flour, Organic Eggs, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Flax Meal, Brewer's Yeast, & Filtered Water.

Our Big Island Biscuits are sure to suit your furry friend's nutritional needs!  Containing all the wonderful health benefits of coconut and more!  Purple sweet potatoes not only have the health benefits of regular sweet potatoes like being rich in antioxidants, and containing anti-inflammatory nutrients.  They also contain high amounts of anthocyanin (the pigment responsible for the purple colors in foods like blueberries and red cabbage) which is known to reduce the risk of cancer!  Brewer's yeast will be one of your dog's best friends.  It is known to repel fleas, ticks, and other biting bugs.  Dogs that suffer from anxiety and other stress issues will benefit greatly from the high amount of B vitamins.  Don't forget about the antioxidants and fatty acids which hep keep your dog's coat shiny and healthy!

Cute little Koa with his Chicken Jerky!

My dog's have certainly enjoyed their all natural treats from Koa's Kitchen!  I bet yours will too!
I want that!
(Big Island Biscuit)

That looks lip licking good mom!

How long before I can eat this?
(Kauai Coconut Cookie)

We are going to share this treat...
(Retriever Retriever Pumpkin Eater)

As always, dogs must wait to be released to eat their treat!
They loved these treats!  Nekita broke early and ate hers even before I said she could.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Challenge Accepted

I have been working with a nice couple in Kihei and their puppy, Bala, a Coton de Tulear.  He is a very sweet little pup and an amazingly quick learner.  I am extremely happy with the amount of work his family has put into training him!  Good job guys!

I have been working with Bala and his family for about 2 months now.  We have covered all the Basic Manners Obedience training and will soon be moving into more specialized training for Service Dogs.  In our most recent appointment this week, the owners wanted to focus on the walk.  Upon deciding to go over some Loose Leash Walking skills, I discovered that the owners have been unable to attach the leash to his collar and walk him that way, they have always used his harness.  The owners said he would NOT walk if the leash was attached to his collar.

Well, as a trainer, I always love a challenge, so I accepted this one.  Although Bala did initially have a negative reaction to the leash being attached to his collar, I worked with the dog and the owners on how to overcome this problem.  At some point, for whatever reason, Bala had a negative experience with someone attaching a leash to his collar (this most likely happened before the current owners got the dog).  To overcome this negative association, we must build a new, positive association with the leash being attached to the collar.  So I repeated the exercise of slowly and calmly attaching the leash to his collar and paid with his favorite cheese every time Bala relaxed a little bit.  After about 5 times of repeating this exercise, Bala became much more comfortable with the leash attached directly to his collar.

Then the next step...although we worked on building the positive association with attaching the leash, Bala still, of course, was reluctant to follow us out for a walk.  This was to be expected.  To overcome this problem we simple keep building the positive association with his favorite thing, cheese.  After about 30 seconds of some simple coaxing, Bala began to walk on the leash (attached to his collar instead of the harness) very well.  His family was very surprised and amazed that he did so.

This serves as a helpful reminder:  No matter what issue you may be having with your dog, no matter how difficult it may seem to overcome, there is always a way to get the dog to do what you want.  And that way is positive reinforcement!  :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Trainer Tips--Island Dogs & Socialization

Properly socializing your dog is very important, but many people don't understand what that actually means.  Proper socialization is not only exposing your dog to as many situations, people, and other dogs as possible, but more importantly, making all of these positive experiences so that your dog becomes easily comfortable no matter what happens.  In order to do this, it is important for you to allow your dog to take his time exploring something new.  Never quickly force a dog that is not comfortable into a new situation.  The dog should appear mostly relaxed, not tense or afraid.  This is why it is so important to begin this process as soon as possible!  This means the day you get your dog, or as soon as your new puppy has all his shots and is vet approved to meet others.

Beyond a properly socialized dog, I believe it is important to keep an "Island Dog" mentality.  If your dog is a true "Island Dog" he should be able to enjoy your favorite island spots WITH YOU.  Some of the places we enjoy with our dogs include the beach, various hikes (we have even worked our dogs up to hiking out on some cliffs), and accompanying me to work.  Lucky for me my job is working with dogs, or in dog environments, so taking my dogs to work is easy for me, whereas it may not be as easy for you.  It never hurts to ask your supervisor, even if its for an hour, it will help socialize your dog.

Below are some various pictures I found of our dogs accompanying us around the island
(and elsewhere).

Athena & Nekita at Camp Olowalu.

Athena & Adam at Napili Bay.
See the pups in the background, behaving well.

Caravaggio & Nekita hanging out in our car full of stuff.

Look how relaxed Caravaggio is!

Caravaggio & my mom back home in Minnesota.
Caravaggio & my aunt's horse, back in Wisconsin.

The pups at our friends house.

Caravaggio & Nekita swimming at Napili Bay.

Caravaggio sandy face at Napili Bay.

Nekita playing in the water while I look for sea glass.

Caravaggio laying in the sand while I look for sea glass.

Athena & pups at Kapalua Coastal Trail.

Caravaggio drinking out of a cooler for the first time.

My pups leading the pack on a hike in the pineapple fields.

Nekita is hiding in the background grass :)

Caravaggio met a new friend on the surfer road off Honolua Bay.

Nekita & our neighbor dog, Jack, in our apartment courtyard.

The whole family at Honolua Bay.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Breed of the Month--American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier

Color:  Any color, combination, pattern (excluding merle)
Height:  18-22 inches
Weight:  Males:  35-60 lbs/  Females:  30-50 lbs
Life Span:  about 12 years

Breed Health Concerns:  Allergies, heart problems, hip dysplasia, von Willebrand disease, cataracts, bloat, hypothyroidism.

Coat:  Close, smooth, stiff, glossy
Country of Origin:  United States

Descended from mastiff-type dogs, the American Pit Bull Terrier was developed from bull and terrier type dogs to catch and hold wild game for hunters, and used to manage bulls by butchers.  The APBT was popular in bear and bullbaiting until it was outlawed in 1835.

Athletic, intelligent, strong, and tenacious, the American Pit Bull Terrier gained notoriety over the years for his affectionate nature with his family and his loyalty.  The breed became increasingly popular in the United States as a hunting and guard dog.

The breed's name was officially changed to the American Pit Bull Terrier in 1898.  The American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier have been bred independently for more than 50 years.  

The many dogs labeled "Pit Bulls" are very powerful dogs that need proper training and socialization.  Please do not get this breed if you are not willing to put in a large amount of work in training and basic obedience.  The "Pitbull" has gained a very bad reputation in the United States over the years as being a vicious, unruly dog that attacks for no reason.  This happens because many, MANY people who get a powerful breed such as the American Pit Bull Terrier do not raise the breed correctly, and end up adding to the stereotype.  I have witnessed this problem first hand many times.  When considering adding a dog to your family, you must consider what breed is the right one for you and your family.  It is not about what you think might look cool or that everyone else has.  Please do your research before considering adding any power breed to your family.  Do not add to the problem!  We need American Pit Bull Terrier owners who will take responsibility and raise a power breed to be a well-socialized, calm, balanced member of society.

Visit the Pit Bull Awareness Coalition to get the real fact on many power breed myths.

When comparing the APBT to the AmStaff (American Staffordshire Terrier), it is noted that the APBT is more energetic.  There are very few differences in the two breeds, and many people and organizations consider them basically the same.  The APBT is larger in height and appears to have a more pronounced, slightly wider-looking nose.  

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a high-energy breed that requires an extreme amount of exercise. The APBT requires several fast-paced walks each day to keep him from developing destructive behaviors.  The APBT also requires a large amount of mental exercise to keep him happy and healthy.

The coat of the American Pit Bull Terrier is easily cared for with regular brushing and bathing.

It is important to learn to read the body language of the American Pit Bull Terrier (or any power breed).  This is one of many reasons I do not recommend them for a first time dog owner.  Smart and responsive, the APBT will excel at training when proper positive reinforcement techniques are used.  Socialization from early puppyhood throughout his life is vitally important to raising a well balanced American Pit Bull Terrier.